I’ve been doing my usual annual reading of Edgar Allan Poe this (almost) Autumn, and I can see clearly that I identify much more with his poetry than his short stories. I love his poetry – its just so much easier to read and flows in a way where I can stay with it.
His short stories are awesome, but it requires that I double down and concentrate on / understand each sentence.
He did write using a device he called “Unity of Effect” – so that is what throws me – his “economy of words” almost ends up being encoded in a dialect of English I’m unfamiliar with. Of course, Reading Makes Perfect….. I think these short stories are so [eloquent, efficient, dense] that they end up cutting too close to the bone – where I feel I’m reading the ravings of a mad man. Therein lies the rub.
His poetry hits the mark for me because there is breathing room – you know the guy is mad (crazy?) but for some reason it never crosses that lunatic fringe line that I feel his stories do. I will re-read his short stories and see if I can better understand his approach.
He had a very sad life, but did create great works including (to my great surprise) scientific writing, including his take on The Big Bang Theory at a time when others were also just starting to write about it.
Anyway, Tomorrows (second) installment will be (loosely) based on Nevermore. I might even do two versions paying homage to The Raven.